Picture Book A to Z: CHARACTER

Online On Demand | Picture Books
Whether your picture book is character-driven or plot-driven, character anchors the story. This on-demand course is designed to give you tools and knowledge to develop strong characters that your readers will love.


Whether your picture book is character-driven or plot-driven, character anchors the story. This on-demand course is designed to give you tools and knowledge to develop strong characters that your readers will love.

Online, On-Demand Self-Paced Course

  • Five chapters of prepared online lessons that you can access on-demand for up to 6 months from the date of your registration.

Why This Course?

From A is for ARCHETYPES to Z is for ZONE, this on-demand intensive with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen features engaging lessons and character-focused writing exercises on:

  • point of view,
  • word choice,
  • inner and outer story arcs,
  • imagery,
  • emotion,
  • conflict,
  • motivation and more.

You might also like to check out the companion course Picture Book A to Z: PLOTTING, An On-Demand Online Course.

Feedback Expected

  • No formal feedback will be offered. 
  • You will have access to an optional (but encouraged), facilitated, peer group workshopping of one picture book. (See date below for 2023 workshopping.)
  • A limited number of 1:1 consultations are available with Sudipta for an additional fee ($125). Information will be available for purchase once enrolled in the course.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You want to write picture books. This in-depth course will ensure that you have a thorough understanding of how to create compelling characters in your picture book.
  • You have written a picture book(s) but aren’t sure it’s ready to submit. Making time for this course means you can spend time revising and strengthening your story through character.
  • You’ve been published in magazines but would like to see your book in print. This course can help you build on your strong writing skills to put together a powerful picture book.
  • You need a workshop you can complete at your own pace. You can work through the lessons individually.

Detailed Agenda

Written and/or Recorded Lectures

You will have access to this course for 6 months from your registration. It’s designed to be completed at your own pace. There are five chapters, with approximately 30 total lessons including:

Chapter One
  • Character-driven vs. Plot-driven picture books (Letters A – D)
  • Writing exercises: graphic organizers, interviews, and keywords
Chapter Two
  • Emotional Arc and the Hero’s Journey (Letters E – I)
  • Writing exercises: tracking emotional change and mentor texts
Chapter Three
  • Fears & Flight (Letters J – N)
  • Writing exercises: Weaknesses, strengths, and self-identity
Chapter Four
  • Point of View & Research (Letters O – S)
  • Writing exercises: Exceptions and point of view
Chapter Five
  • Universal Truth (Letters T – Z)
  • Writing exercises: Pacing, page breaks, and more mentor texts
  • Thursday, March 23 at 7pm Eastern: Optional facilitated workshopping of one picture book manuscript.

Commitment Required for the Best Experience

You can work through these workshop sessions at your own pace, and you’ll have six months from the date of your registration to do so. For an enhanced experience, you can join the optional workshopping of one picture book manuscript (see date above).

How It Impacts Kids

Picture books are the first entry point for getting children engaged in story. Appealing characters will invite kids to immerse themselves in the stories they hear–and later, the ones they read.

Testimonials from Our Community

“Sudipta provided a wealth of information in the coursework and was very generous with her time during office hours. She knows her stuff!”

“Sudipta is a wonderful teacher in person but the online lessons were also great – so much material laid out in a very accessible way. It is clear she put a lot of work and thought into the class.”

“Even though we were not together in person, I felt the facilitator and Sudipta did a great job in making us feel we were a mini family where we could learn and share freely.”


Meet the Faculty


When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email about how to access your content.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our on-demand online workshops.

Our Mission in Action

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
Partners & Sponsors

The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.